Many of us will hear the name Cemetery Hill and instantly now what and where it is. Somewhat similar to the familiarity of the Valley of the Kings in last week’s blog. Although it doesn’t carry as much weight as the worldly known Valley of the Kings, Cemetery Hill played a large part in the history of the United States of America.
Cemetery Hill is located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It is most recognized as a place of rest for the many soldiers who died in the bloody Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.
This battle was significant because most people believe it was the turning point of the war when the Union defeated the Confederate States at the battle. And of course for those readers not familiar in other parts of the world, they ended up winning the war.
I know I am going right to the “nitty-gritty” on this one but I could go on with the history forever.
Cemetery Hill is notable among the entire battlefield because it was an area that some of the fiercest and bloodiest parts of the battle were fought. Bodies of the fallen soldiers laid in the July heat to rot for such a long period of time that the tales of the haunted hill started before long.
Although this was not the only time in the battle or history itself that bodies had to remain on a still very active battlefield but it is what helps draw the haunted and eerie factor to the location. In case some of you are not aware, it use to be believed, and still is, that if a body is not laid to rest in the ground before a certain time then that body will begin to walk the earth.
But back to the haunted hill.
Gun shots at night, cannon blasts in the distance, drums, trumpet signals to charge, or the commands of some fallen commander heard echoing in the night. These are all the common haunts heard from many parts of Gettysburg where the battle was fought.
It’s not just the sounds however, this particular spot has actually had a significant amount of reports that say the haunting apparitions don’t always appear by sound or by site but also by smell. Yes, that’s right. We go back to the bodies lying out in the field for a long period of time during the battle.
And if that isn’t enough, there are tales of a ghostly soldier that tries to interact with people. Many think, or still believe, that it is someone in a re-enactment outfit. Trying to act the part. I would say he does a pretty good job. Right up until the part comes where he walks away and seems to…how you say…kind of disappear into the cemetery grounds.
I personally got to experience this place in its greatness. There is a historical significance to the feel of the place as well as a feeling of sorrow and gratitude that overwhelms the spirit when you walk through the fields.
It seems funny to me, but even as a little kid when I ventured there with my brother and family, was that I could tell there was something more significant there. I can’t say for sure I understood the magnitudes of the sacrifice that was made there. Maybe I didn’t realize or grasp the concept of how big and important the battle was. But I could feel something, not necessarily a haunting feeling, or that I felt a ghostly spirit nearby, but just something eerie.
Thanks for Reading,
Joshua Crane Dowidat